Travelling broadens one’s mind. It is an enriching experience we should all go through at least once. Can it be used for more than just experiencing different cultures and climates? Some people believe so. Moreover, it may very well be that travelling can help recovering addicts.
Addicts normally find it very hard to focus on anything apart from their own addiction. Travelling can remedy that, with a change in scenery and the atmosphere. It will also give a person to do a little bit of introspection because the setting is so different. Of course, for this to work, you need to be careful about the destination, so as not to be close to risky places, like bars, race tracks, and so on. It would also be prudent for the addict to have a sort of chaperone or two.
Imagine learning more about the bridges in Budapest, seeing the museums in the Vatican, or learning how to make national specialties like the Paella, or the Gazpacho. The enrichment and the noise that keeps the addict preoccupied will shift their focus away from their annoyances and pain.
Getting Away and Starting Over
One of the biggest problems an addict faces is that even when they are willing to kick the habit, there are people and places drawing them back in. The wonderful thing about travelling is that you can put some distance between yourself and your previous environment. This is especially important in cases where one’s friends or acquaintances don’t want them to stop with their addiction. The added benefit is that it symbolizes starting over – a new beginning for a new life. We have to say that this works the same way a gym membership does. It’s important to begin, but also to persevere.
Privacy and Stress
There is a social stigma surrounding people who are trying to get better. If you need more convincing, check out the movie “A Street Cat Named Bob”.
So, how do we deal with being treated as an outcast? The answer is – a change in scenery. People in other countries, or even other cities, don’t know about the past of newcomers. In other words, no one will shoot them a dirty look or make a snide comment.
There is also the stress factor. Ask any smoker what it was like when they were trying to quit, and a few will definitely respond by saying that the world was on their case the whole time. Depending on the type of addiction, the withdrawal can be anything from irritating to brutally painful and sickening. A quiet and pleasant environment would, without a doubt, make it way easier for an addict to deal with their problem.
The Downsides of Travelling as Addiction Therapy
As beneficial as travelling is for the body and the mind, there are a few disadvantages of using it as treatment. First of all, many addiction therapies involve replacing one drug with another and gradually decreasing the dosage, like using methadone to bind to opioid receptors to treat someone who’s addicted to, say, heroin or Vicodin. It is difficult to find a travelling arrangement that can cater to such therapy. The lack of aftercare programs and the distance between the addict and their loved ones is also not something that can be easily ignored.